The Story Of Our Capitol PDF Print

An exhibit at the Nevada State Capitol recapturing the past 120 years of Nevada's number one historic building

"The Story of Our Capitol" exhibit pays tribute to Nevada's quintessential historic building, a place filled with tradition and history. The Capitol's prominent silver dome is Carson City's most visible landmark and has been a symbol of Nevada's government since its completion in 1870.

Nevada passed from a territory to statehood in four short years, 1861-1864. On display are the wine glasses Territorial Governor James W. Nye and Carson City founder Abe Curry used to toast the success of the new state. Also on view is a thirty-six star U.S. flag commemorating the Silver State's recognition as the thirty-sixth state to join the Union.

Nevada's government has evolved in this building, where state officials have had their offices and the senate and assembly once met. On view is one of the original legislative desks purchased in 1871.

Also in place is the elk horn chair of Nevada Governor John Sparks, the honorary chair used by President Teddy Roosevelt when he was welcomed to the capital as the Hero of San Juan in 1903.

Governor Emmet Boyle, the first native Nevadan to hold the honor, signed the resolution supporting the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. A replica of his office as it was in 1920 is contained in this exhibit.

The Capitol building and grounds changed over time from the original architectural design to the additions of the Capitol annex in 1906, the extension of two wings in 1914, and a major $6 million earthquake and fireproofing in 1978-1980. These changes are detailed in the Capitol display.

The Capitol building was used as the museum to exhibit the collections of the Pacific Coast Pioneers, and in the 1930s magnificent collections of local Carson City Dr. S. L. Lee were displayed.

The state celebrated Nevada's centennial for statehood in 1964, with a massive birthday cake seven feet long and three feet wide cut by First Lady Bette Sawyer, assisted by comedian Jack Benny and served to the public in the assembly chambers to kick off the year-long celebrations. On display see a rare bottle of French cognac and commemorative collectibles designed for the celebration.

Within this landmark are many state symbols, such as a bust of a big horn sheep, a desert tortoise, and a beautifully hand-beaded Nevada State Seal.

Exhibit location on the second floor of the Capitol Building, corner of Musser and Carson Streets, Carson City, Nevada. Look for the silver dome.